David Brim on business, marketing & life.

How to Effectively Use Google insights for Search

Contributor: David Brim August 25, 2011

With Hurricane Irene heading towards the coast of Florida I’ve had several companies ask me how they can better focus their keyword research and search engine strategies to take advantage of this. I thought I would share a tool that can be very valuable in this situation and many others.

Google Insights for search is a tool freely available that can be very useful to a marketer is used properly. Google insights is is similar to Google Trends, a tool that shows the increase in frequency a keyword is searched, but Google Insights provides much more robust information that can be used for market intelligence and research.

Here’s a quick overview of how Google Insights for Search works…

First visit Google Insights for Search

Once you’ve arrived at the tool type in a keyword you would like to research, for this example I used “Hurricane Irene”.

You also have the ability to filter your search by type of search, location, time frame, or category.

Once you’ve done your search you’ll be able to…

See the Increase in search frequency over time

You can play with the time frames for your specific purpose and as you do so the graphical output will change.

View Top searches

You can see a list of the top searched keywords related to your initial search. This can be helpful to generate keyword ideas to get in front of a particular customer.

Uncover Rising or Break Out Search terms

Similar to the top keywords, but this shows those keywords that have the biggest increase in searches lately. It could be that these keywords will become top keywords soon, so this data can be very valuable as well.

Regional Search Data

This map functionality reminds me of the one in Google Analytics, and provides a map displaying the areas with the greatest number of searches. The initial search query, if left unfiltered will show countries. You then have the ability to drill down into that country and view the states and cities that have the highest frequency of searches. Though the example I used is for hurricane irene, one that could be a very profitable set of keywords for generator, travel, hurricane window, hotel and other types of companies this tool can produce data that would be immensely valuable for nearly any type of business. Whether you are a local service based business, or a large brand planning where to invest your advertising spend on a local level this feature can really help.

Though there are numerous tools that help with keyword research Google Insights for Search is one of the best to help identify and take advantage of trending or topical searches. In many cases there may be a very popular event or trend that causes a huge surge in search engine traffic, but because this is out of the normal search pattern it may not show up in other keyword tools. Though Google Trends shows the top or break out searches on a high level, once you’ve focused in on one Google Insights is a fabulous tool to really knock it out of the park.

I hope that you found this post helpful.

If you’ve had experiences with Google Trends, Google Insights, or other keyword tools that help identify trends I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Drop a comment

All the best,

David

10 Local Marketing Tips to Drive Business Your Way

Contributor: David Brim January 14, 2011

Recently a business owner reached out to me for assistance in marketing his business in a local market.  After writing a response to his questions I thought that others would be able to benefit from the information that I shared with him so I decided to share it with my readers.

I need some help marketing my last two dance classes. Any suggestions on where and how to get the word out?

There are a number of ways that you can do this….

1) SEO: If you have a website optimize it for local keywords so that people can find you.  There are two main aspects of search engine optimization what happens on your website and what happens outside of your website.  The on page factors include your website’s code, content, urls, page titles, etc.  A website’s off page SEO is basically their link portfolio- how many sites are linking to you, what is the quality of the sites linking to you, etc.  Here is a previous post that I wrote regarding link building.  There are many different tactics, but this article will go over the basics.  https://davidbrim.com/seo-and-link-building-101

Also be sure you are listed on google places, yelp, etc and the other major local listing sites.  Check out www.getlisted.org

2) Facebook Ads: Advertise to your potential customers on Facebook.  You can select your target customers demographics, interests (including dance or dancing with the stars, etc), location and more.

3) Google Adwords: Similar to SEO, but pay for placement.  You basically bid on keywords and the combination of highest price and quality score (relevancy and authority in google’s eyes) will show first.  You only pay on a per click basis.  If going this route make sure you track your costs and the amount of sales generated to make sure your getting a return on investment.  You can also target your ads to a specific geographic area so you won’t be paying for those who are not in the right area to take advantage of your service.

4) Social Media: Use tracking tools like www.socialmention.com and monitter.com to see who is discussing dance related topics in a certain geographic area on twitter and facebook.  Viralheat.com is another good tool for monitoring social media conversations globally or locally, but that is a paid subscription based tool.Once they are found you can engage these users with various tactics to raise your brand’s visibility.

5) Craigslist & other Classified marketing sites: Post your service on craigslist in your city.  This is a very highly trafficked classified site and can be very effective.  Other popular classified marketing sites include: Back Page and Epage.

6) Referrals: Tap into your current client’s social circles of influence and ask them for referrals.  It’s also wise to have your current clients become a fan of your brand on facebook so your brand gets out to their friends.  Possibly offer an incentive of a free class or discount to those who refer other clients.

7) Direct mail & Traditional Marketing: We worked with a dance company and did a direct mail campaign to kick off their grand opening.  We had formal invitations developed and mailed them out to homes tax assessed at $350K+.  They had a great turn out, but direct mail can be very expensive.  Radio and TV are also options depending on your budget, but internet marketing will provide a more cost effective and measurable solution.

8) Give a free performance– Attract people in with a free show or performance.  Once they are there give them food and/or wine (if legal aged) which can be donated from sponsors.  While there have people offer a free lesson to those who attend and sign them up on the spot.

9) Local Coupon Sites like Groupon– The local daily/weekly coupon craze is going full blast.  Leading the charge is Groupon, however competitors like LivingSocial, Tippr, and Buywithme are all gaining traction.

10) Harness the power of Local Meetup and Facebook groups– Local online groups can be a very powerful way to raise awareness of your venture.  Visit www.meetup.com and do a search for your zipcode and a relevant keyword.  Also visit Facebook and do searches to find relevant groups and fan pages.  There are several ways to utilize these groups and pages.

  • First- you can simply participate in a popular local group- by sharing an insightful comment with a link to your website people will be intrigued to learn more and click through the link to learn more about your business.
  • Second- You can contact the group creator or page admin and ask them to send out a message to their audience.  This may cost some money, but will give your brand good viability if you can find the right group.
  • Finally- Start your own interest group.  If you have the time, it can be very valuable to start an online group around a topic of interest yourself.  You can network with people interested in this topic and if you ask intriguing questions and share thoughtful responses you will be perceived as an expert and someone a potential customer would want to hire.

I hope this helps!

If you have any additional questions let me know.

What do you guys think…Did I miss any anything?

If so feel free to comment.

All the best,

David

What Every Business Owner should know about Google Instant Previews

Contributor: David Brim December 3, 2010

Google recently released a new feature called “Instant Previews” into their search engine results page.    As the name suggests this feature enables a searcher to preview all of the websites on the listings page before making the decision on which website they should visit.

This may seem like a small adjustment, but what does this mean to your business?

This small preview icon in the search engine results means a great deal to a business…It can work for or against you, bringing you more customers or less.

If you show up highly on the search engines for various keywords, but have a poorly designed website you now have a higher chance of a customer selecting a lower result that appears (from instant preview) to better fit their needs.  On the other side if you have a strongly designed website you now have the chance to steal away customers who in the past would immediately click the first or second result that they came across.

Now if you have a strongly designed website, but are on the second or third page Google Instant Preview doesn’t necessarily help you, because consumers often don’t venture past the first page when making decisions via search.  Having a strong SEO presence consisting of optimized title tags, url structure, content, proper keywords and quality links is still extremely important.

If you have a website that is not being found through search engines now is the time to assess how it was built (functionally and aesthetically), enhance or re-design the website and implement an SEO strategy.

Have Google Instant Previews work for your business, not against it.

SEO and Link Building 101

Contributor: David Brim September 15, 2010

It’s no secret that reaching more customers is a goal of nearly all business owners.  As I discussed in a previous post…your potential and current customers are online and searching.  There are roughly 5,500 searches that occur every second.

That’s right….every second!

The harsh reality is….roughly 90% of all of those searches will not venture beyond the first page of the search engine results.

So how do you get higher on the search engine rankings, so that you’re the one your potential customers find?

This is done through a process called Search Engine Optimization.

There are two main aspects of Search Engine Optimization…On page SEO and off Page SEO.  On page SEO includes altering elements on your website that you can control.  Some of these include:

  • Code structure
  • Title tags
  • Url structure
  • Content
  • Header tags
  • etc

The other aspect of SEO is off page optimization, or link building.

One thing to remember is that Google and other search engines care more about what others say about you then what you say about yourself.  If I was to stand up in a crowded restaurant and yell out…”I am the best marketer ever” I may intrigue some people, but if everyone in the restaurant stood up and pointed at me and said “David is the best marketer out there” I would get better results.

In the search engine world this happens as well.  Links are the currency of the web. The goal is to receive as many links, especially relevant ones as possible. This is done through a process called link building.

Some aspects of link building include…

Article submissions (Write quality content around topics related to your industry and then submit to these sites with your link included in the article or resource box)

Top article directory sites

  1. EzineArticles.com
  2. GoArticles.com
  3. ArticleDashboard.com
  4. SearchWarp.com
  5. ArticlesBase.com
  6. iSnare.com
  7. SelfGrowth.com
  8. Buzzle.com
  9. ArticleCity.com
  10. IdeaMarketers.com

Press Release Submissions: Anytime that you have a new hire, noteworthy client, publish a new whitepaper, are going to attend conference, have a speaking engagement, launch a new product or service, etc…It’s wise to submit online press releases. Here is a very strong list of 50+, many of which are free:

http://www.avangate.com/articles/press-release-distribution_69.htm

Directory submissions (There are thousands of website directories online that will provide a link to your website. You can see a large list here: http://www.addurl.nu/)

Blog Commenting (Conduct a search for your topic at technorati.com and leave a thoughtful comment with a link back to your website on a blog post that someone has published)

Social bookmarking– Bookmark your website on sites like Digg.com, stumbleupon.com and Delicious.com these sites are highly trafficked and provide great awareness.

Guest  blogging– Reach out to popular bloggers within your industry and submit a well written blog post with your link included in the post.

Link Requests– If you have friends in your industry, or others with websites in general email them and ask them to link to your website with a targeted keyword as the anchor text or hyperlink.

Working to improve your search engine visibility is a great way to increase your businesses visibility.  Keep in mind that getting a potential customer to your website is only half the battle.  Once they are there you need them to do what you want them to do…typically contact you, register, or buy something (depending on your business).  Having a well designed site and monitoring your analytics is very important to accomplish this.

Signing off for now…There are many more tips, strategies and resources out there to help improve your search engine visibility.  Hopefully this post gave you some basics.

If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out to me.   Brand Advance, my firm, would be more than happy to give your business a free consultation around this topic.  Simply fill out our contact form on the Brand Advance site and we’ll get back to you.

What other tips do you feel should be included in basic SEO & Link Building 101?

What questions do you have?

2010 Internet Marketing Predictions, Trends & Tips

Contributor: David Brim January 12, 2010

It’s no secret that technology changes extremely fast.  Often times keeping up and implementing trends in technology is like hitting a moving target.  Internet marketing is no different.  From changes in Search Engine Algorithms (like Google’s Caffeine– that had a large roll out following the holidays) to new social media innovations like Posterous…The world of internet marketing has been and will continue to change in 2010. I came across this list on Search Engine Land by Matt McGee listing many different resources discussing predicted changes in various areas of online marketing during 2010.  Enjoy!

Using a seo tools centre sentence rewriting tool can help you create better content for your customers and also make sure your articles are grammatically correct and look professional for your business.

SEO

Search Marketing/PPC

Local/Mobile Search

Social Media

Video

Analytics

General Online Marketing

Miscellaneous

Have a Safe and Successful 2010!

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